Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Retail Update - powered by LebensmittelZeitung
Thursday, 26 May 2016

Hello, dear reader!
Alibaba's accounting practices are under investigation in the US. The alliance between Auchan and Système U also faces intense scrutiny by French authorities. British icon M&S struggles, German discounter Lidl grows aggressively, Spain's El Corte Inglés teams up with a cosmetic giant and will offer Samsung Pay. These stories and more are featured in today's issue. Enjoy!

asia & australia
Alibaba investigated   The Chinese e-commerce giant has been approached by US regulators in connection with its accounting practices and says that it is co-operating. The company plans further expansion in mainland rural areas, seeking to bring online shopping to remote villages. ▪
Smartphone battles   China-based Huawei, one of the leading smartphone makers in the world, is suing Korean tech giant Samsung over claims that the latter is violating its patents. Competitor Xiaomi has unveiled its first drone at a remarkably low price, but insiders think it won't save the company. ▪
Aldi listens to customers   The Australian unit of the German discount giant has said that it will no longer sell battery eggs by the year 2025. The decision is a reaction to significant public pressure. Aldi has been at the centre of a social media storm over its continued sale of caged eggs. ▪
Mergers under scrutiny    The French competition authority has launched an in-depth probe to assess whether the buying alliance between retailers Auchan and co-operative Système U threatens competition rules. The newly formed Richess Group is the latest bidder for fallen high street giant BHS as the liquidation process drags on. ▪
Lidl sharpens its focus   The German discount powerhouse plans to expand its business in Belgium by investing EUR 500 million to increase its markets share to 10%. Lidl is set to open 35 new stores in Brussels over the next few years and has ramped up its growth in Spain by adding 100 new local suppliers to its network. ▪
Department store strategies   British retailer Marks & Spencer reported a steep drop in full-year profits and the recovery plan for the clothes division might face more losses +++ Spanish department store El Corte Inglés has struck a deal with French cosmetic chain Sephora and also plans to offer Samsung Pay to its customers. ▪
Amazon teams up in California   San Francisco-based cloud computing company Salesforce has picked the Seattle-based tech giant as its primary provider of public cloud infrastructure in a deal said to be worth US$ 400 million. Amazon continues to grow in California with two new fulfilment centres to open soon. ▪
Bfresh offers online shopping   Ahold's Millenial-focused urban fresh store has launched an online ordering and delivery service in partnership with Cartfresh, a Ukrainian service provider, which established its US-base last year. ▪
Closings and openings   Mars Super Markets, which will sell five of its stores to Weis Markets, announced that its remaining eight stores will close if it can't find a buyer for them +++ After months of anticipation, the discount store format of Whole Foods has finally made its debut in Los Angeles. ▪
Shoprite invests in Angola   The South African retail group plans to spend US$ 572 million in the fast-growing sub-Saharan country to increase its distribution network, which consists of 53 stores. The grocer will also upgrade its existing Angolan stores. ▪
Jump in wine exports   South African wine exports to China rose almost 30% in 2015, according to statistics from the industry, and the aim is to double this number by 2025. Demand is driven by a booming number of young Chinese professionals who prefer buying online. ▪

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